Eastern Michigan University has named Carl Powell its new chief information officer.
Since the position was posted, the university received well over a hundred applications according to Walter Kraft, vice president for Communications.
Powell will head the information technology department and oversee the infrastructure of the university.
The infrastructure is comprised of the email and phone systems, and all of the internal communication protocols. Powell’s appointment will be effective Feb.8.
Powell was previously vice president and CIO at Metropolitan State College in Denver. He has more than 25 years of experience in information technology.
Kraft believes Powell was the best choice for the job.
“He’s an experienced professional and he has a great background working in Denver at the university there,” said Kraft. “He has an excellent background and qualifications based on his performance in the past.”
Although Powell is coming from Colorado, he is no stranger to the Midwest.
“I originally came from Ohio, so I’m very familiar with the Midwest and the area there,” Powell said. “It’s kind of like coming home for me and my wife.”
Powell also has family ties to Michigan. “I grew up in a higher education family with my dad being graduate dean and both of my parents came from Michigan,” he said.
Powell believes it will be important for him to know the history and background of EMU.
“For anybody coming into this role, the first thing they have to do is understand what’s already working well at Eastern,” Powell said. “Take some time to understand the culture of the institution. I want to be like a physician and do no harm.”
Powell also plans to identify what students and faculty need.
“You have to figure out what the needs of the faculty and students are,” Powell said. “The place was working good before I got there, it’ll work good while I’m there and at some point when I retire, it will work better after that.”
Powell believes one of the biggest issues he will face is funding. “Probably one of the biggest ones facing most colleges and universities is funding for upgrades and replacements of computer systems,” he said. “Funding is kind of a universal issue these days, especially within IT.”
Powell plans to interact with student employees in the IT department.
“We have to treat them as employees who also have to be focused on their studies,” he said.
Powell will also be visible the general student body by having roundtables to understand things that need to be changed or improved. “A big thing is to have students know I’m approachable. he said. “I like to respond to emails and visits.”
But Powell doesn’t want faculty and staff to feel left out.
“It’s not just students; we also need to do this with faculty members too,” he said. I plan to be accessible, so that I’m not just sequestered in my office.”
Powell is looking forward to coming to Eastern in February. “I want to wear the green and white,” he said.